Saturday, 31 May 2014

Move Back To Nigeria: Stephen Adenika Speaks on His Move Back & Life as an Agricultural Entrepreneur

By Titi Adanne Owoyemi
Move Back to Nigeria is a series on BellaNaija which aims to encourage young and not-so-young professionals in the diaspora who are trying to make the decision of whether to move back to Nigeria. In collaboration with the brilliant team at, we hope to bring you a weekly interview with individuals who have successfully made the leap, considering the leap, as well as those who have tried it and realized it is not for them.’s mission is to showcase stories of Nigerians abroad who have moved back home and are taking giant strides, often against all odds and to serve as inspiration to others. This, however, does not preclude us from sharing stories of the people who have moved back and are facing various challenges.
Given the increased focus on agriculture in Nigeria, we are delighted to bring you this week’s interview with Stephen Adenika. Read on to find out in his own words, what it takes to get into the industry in Nigeria, the role Ecommerce is playing in agriculture in Nigeria, some of the challenges and solutions to getting ahead as an agriculture entrepreneur in Nigeria, among many other helpful tips.
Thanks for speaking with us. Can you please introduce yourself, tell us who you are and what you do?
I am Stephen Adenika, an entrepreneur and current CEO of Apfatrade Limited – a company which specializes in agriculture. Separately I also work in Real Estate.
Ok. When and why did you leave Nigeria?
I left Nigeria in 2007 and this was simply for academic pursuits.
Can you tell us about your educational background?
I attended the European University of Lefke, Northern Cyprus, studying Business Management.
Is that what you always wanted to study?
To be sincere I ran to that department because back in school, at secondary level I was a science student and I always thought I would be an engineer. I was not good at Mathematics.
Cyprus? That’s an interesting choice. How was life there?
It’s a beautiful island and a good place to live but there were some challenges. For instance, as a student you don’t really have the opportunity to work and things were particularly hard for me at the time, due to the fact that my parents had financial issues which led me to spend much longer than I should have as a result of frozen semesters/ my inability to pay fees.
And so after your undergraduate degree, what came next?
My story is a bit challenging as I said earlier. After my B.Sc, I was not exactly sure of my next steps. I did not plan to return to Nigeria immediately but I also knew I had to leave Cyprus for greener pastures. Where to? That was the problem. Luckily for me, I had begun some entrepreneurial pursuits while at school and that formed the basis for my coming home. I decided to come back home and invest the little I had.
You moved back to Nigeria, what happened after that?
I believe that time is my most valuable asset and so, I went straight into business. I started doing the background research and checks and I started the incorporation process for my company.
Tell us about your company, what is it that you do?
The name of the company is Apfatrade limited and we are basically into agriculture. We own an e-commerce platform known as, which is one aspect of our services. It is essentially a platform for agricultural producers, sellers, importers and exporters. They put up their products, meet sellers and buyers and also interact there. We are also into physical farming, and we currently operate a fish farm and a poultry project too.
And where are your farms located?
In Lagos and Ogun State.
How have you found running a business in Nigeria, have there been any particular challenges?
There have been lots of challenges. In Nigeria, it can be quite difficult when you do not really have the financial backup. The mentality down here is so different and at first when we started with just the e-marketplace, it was well received but it did not go as planned. People did not really understand the concept that much so I had to re-invent the platform and introduce the visible farm. Undoubtedly, the government is beginning to take more of an active role to support the growing agriculture industry. There are a lot of grants available. However, it’s quite difficult to access them.
We find that a lot of young people are interested in agriculture these days, is this really the situation and why is it so difficult to access the funding?
Yes it is the situation and the celebrity endorsements that make the sector seem rightfully appealing. Regarding the grants, it is indeed very difficult. I have undergone research, tried to make contacts, and explored all avenues to no avail. Some banks are giving money to loan out to agricultural entrepreneurs, but you find out the basic requirements set out by the government is not what the banks are actually using. So what you just do as an entrepreneur is keep going, no matter what. Nothing is going to stop you from doing what you have at heart, not even the government. Personally, I have turned to friends and family who believe in my idea, and we make it happen. Human Capital has basically been what has seen me through.
That’s fortunate. What made you decide to focus on agriculture and agricultural entrepreneurship, what is the reason for your agricultural interest?
The reason is not so far-fetched. I, like many others, know that my country and my continent are blessed with abundant arable land as well as good resources. Food is life, agriculture is life. So when I conducted my research, I found out that the only business that can survive anytime, in any situation is agriculture. When there is a downturn in the economy, every other business may close down but people will always eat. There is nothing that affects agriculture and the competition is healthy. Looking at Africa and Nigeria with all the resources, we have a competitive advantage over the western world when it comes to agriculture and so, I decided to take the plunge.
Are you working in collaboration with other agricultural entrepreneurs as well?
Yes I am. That’s a huge part of what we do and what we plan to expand on.
In terms of moving back, what have been the positives for you?
I don’t regret moving back at all. The positive is that I have been able to see my country from a different light. I have been able to see so many opportunities in this land and I have been able to grow myself to fit into the system again.
Tell us about the real estate part of your business concerns.
It started when I moved back to Nigeria. I actually met a man who is my mentor. He is a visionary and he empowers the youth. He came up with a summit/conference last year titled for young entrepreneurs and I participated and learnt a lot from it. There were featured experts from the U.S and the UK whom I was lucky to interact with and pitch my ideas to and that was how my interest in real estate developed and was nurtured. Our real-estate service is unique to this market: It is a long-term payment system in which you can rent to own. It is not a mortgage, we would be your bank. You don’t have to put down a deposit, we work in plan with your income, which we call the affordable housing scheme.
Moving on, you were away for quite a while, how did the lifestyle change affect you when you came back to Nigeria?
I will tell you that the things were quite challenging e.g. the Lagos traffic, irregular power supply etc. So many things, but when you know what you are expecting, you plan ahead. You have to set your targets and objectives right. I knew what I was getting into, I knew what I wanted, and so these things were not stumbling blocks to me. My target was mainly for my business to grow and succeed and so, I was not carried away or overwhelmed by those challenges, because I knew this is Nigeria and I had to get down to business.
In terms of the Apfatrade brand, how and where do you see yourself going in the next five to ten years?
I hope to be a household name when it comes to Agriculture in Africa and with the team I have (young minds with great prospects), I know we are ready for the journey. Yes, it is challenging but thankfully, Nigeria has woken up. The sector itself is going places and Apfatrade will also go to places too.
Finally, regarding people who are considering moving back to Nigeria, do you have any words of wisdom for them as they embark on this journey?
The first thing I will say is that, whatever idea you have, things might not go as planned. Know that when you move back to Nigeria, you don’t only need ideas or capital; you need a strong resolve, a good team, and then you can survive in Nigeria.
In some of the previous MBTN interviews I have read, I see something similar in almost all the people interviewed, which is the willingness to go on regardless of whatever the situation is. This strong resolve is important. Like they say, if you can picture it, you can achieve it. In your mind you may not see the obstacles but when you actually practicalize it, then you start experiencing the difficulties. That willingness and resolve will not make you give up, instead it will make you tackle the problem and move ahead.
Many thanks for your time and best wishes moving forward.
The  primary objective of is to connect Nigerian professionals with various opportunities in Nigeria, ranging from recruitment drives to information & support regarding relocation processes, financial & tax advice and much more. Move Back To Nigeria also features social interest topics such as what’s on, where to live, how-to survival tips and so on. Consistently engaging with and featuring Nigerian professionals in weekly  interviews, Move Back To Nigeria regularly publishes social interest articles relevant to the general public. Everyone is welcome to their online discussions & fora and you are invited to air your views & suggestions on the topical and trending matters section. For more information and further inquiries, please contact

Evergreen artistes: Aged but not tired


King Sunny Ade, Victor Uwaifo, Onyeka Onwenu, Ebenezer Obey and Victor Olaiya
Of a fact, Nigerian music industry has metamorphosed. The scene has become so vibrant and a source of employment to so many Nigerians.
Many years ago, the music industry wasn’t this big. But then, one cannot take away the fact that there were some Nigerian musicians whose names would always appear in the annals of the industry. With their talents coupled with their tenacity, the artistes pushed on and on with their careers, making them timeless artistes over the years.
Their doggedness paid off as their music is evergreen and these notable artistes, in their own way, still contribute their quota to the now viable industry.
Some of these artistes are dead but their music live on. Some of them are old and aged but then again, they are not tired, they still sing and push out beautiful songs as they equally perform on various stages. Some of them can still rock and roll on the stage even more than the new generation of artistes.
Saturday Beats looks at a couple of these Nigerian artistes who are still very relevant even after so many years in the industry.
Victor Olaiya
Highlife legend, Victor Olaiya is not a small fry in the music industry. He came into the industry more than 50 years ago and has made a solid mark.
A guru with the trumpet, Olaiya has great hits such as Omo Pupa, Ilu le o, Colds Sweat and Yabomisa Sawale. The latest remix of his Baby Mi Da featuring Tuface, has been nominated for so many awards.
Olaiya still performs at shows and his mastery of the trumpet is unrivalled.
 Victor Uwaifo
Sir Victor Uwaifo can never be forgotten for his prowess with the guitar. Known as ‘Guitar Boy,’ the sculptor and writer is a Nigerian artiste whose works have gained him international recognition.
His Joromi is still a major classic that sounds fresh in everybody’s ears. Uwaifo has recorded well over 500 songs and most of them have won gold and silver awards.
A Member of the Order of the Niger, Uwaifo was given a national honour many years ago by the then President Shehu Shagari.
Even at over 70, Uwaifo is still not tired. He may have been off the music scene in a long while but the great artiste never fails to impress on the stage anytime he is invited at state functions.
 King Sunny Ade
Is there really anybody who doesn’t know King Sunny Ade in this part of the clime? KSA, as he is fondly called, cannot even be called a back-in-the day’s artiste for the juju musician still calls the shots when it comes to that genre of music.
KSA is not tired. He is always in the studio ‘cooking’ and ‘mixing’ stuff for his large fan base.
Recently at the Glo Evergreen Series organised by telecommunications company, Globacom, KSA was at his best on the stage, mesmerising guests and justifying why he is the king of juju music.
 Ebenezer Obey
Evangelist Ebenezer Obey is a respected Nigerian musician who has garnered national and international recognition over the years.
He started his career in the 50s and was once under the late Fatai Rolling Dollar’s band. With songs like E ma se lo, Oro Alafia and Awa ewe Iwoyi, Obey held sway for a long while.
In the 90s, Obey switched from juju and became a gospel musician.
At 72, Obey is still a force in the music industry. His mark will perhaps, remain indelible in the music sector.
 Onyeka Onwenu
Onyeka Onwenu returned from America to Nigeria many years ago and somehow, changed the face of the music industry. The Elegant Stallion, as she is also known, won the hearts of many with her mellifluous voice.
It was that voice that sang One Love, a song which has remained classic and timeless till now.
Onyeka’s time is not past yet. The lady is waxing strong both in the political front and the music industry.
As much as she has never left the studios, Onyeka has not released any hit song in a long while. But then again, she is invited to almost any state function where she dishes out inspiring songs of unity, which can melt the hearts of even the strong hearted.

Buy Tickets to “Basketmouth Uncensored” to WIN a Kia Rio Car

Basketmouth Uncensored - Dysfunctional Mind - May 2014 -
May ends tomorrow and June begins on Sunday. One event to look forward to is Basketmouth Uncensored tagged Dysfunctional Mind.
It will take place on Sunday 29th June 2014 at the Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos. Scheduled to deliver rib cracking jokes on the same stage as Basketmouth are Bovi, Buchi and Salvador.
Performing hit tracks are 2Face Idibia, Davido, Wizkid, Phyno, Olamide, Sound Sultan and Play.
Tickets are currently available online at and The 1st 100 people that download Diamond Mobile App, will get to win a free a ticket to the show.
One lucky person will win a brand new Kia Rio car at the show, while 100 people will win Dana Air return tickets to Abuja or Port Harcourt.
For Kings Row and Queens Row tickets, call 08055555121 | 08072001613 | 08030830308 | e-mail
For standard tickets, call 08072001613
Date: Sunday 29th June 2014
Time: 6 PM
Venue: Eko Convention Centre, Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos

Top 10 Ways to Get Rid of your Pot Belly

A large protruding stomach is one of the most common physical ailments people fight these days. Pot belly is nothing non familiar with middle aged, non-exercising, involved in desk job, men and women. However it is becoming increasingly common with people of far younger age and even kids and thus calling for strict changes in lifestyle. What is not a surprise is that a bulging stomach is also a common symptom in those diagnosed with cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and dyslipidemia which explains why even kids now are affected by otherwise old age heart diseases or diabetes. Obesity is a condition of increased body fat, fighting which requires following strict regimes and adopting healthy habits.
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Below is a list of ten most effective ways of reducing and controlling fat on the belly portion:
10. Avoid unnecessary Medicinal Consumption
Pot belly, especially amongst middle aged men, is also caused by hormonal imbalance in the body. As per the doctors, many prescription drugs and mainly different forms of steroids can have side effects resulting in stomach obesity. People these days are highly vulnerable to medicinal consumption for ailments not even requiring any, instead of making simple lifestyle changes, as a result destroying their body metabolism and falling prone to obesity. Taking medicines when not necessary is non-recommendable for everyone including those planning to shed some extra fat.
9. Keep Correct Posture
There might not seem a very obvious relation between body postures and abdominal fat but keeping correct body posture is a highly efficient way of avoiding unwanted fat round the belly. Keeping your back straight, in particular, while sitting helps tucking the stomach inward thus maintaining equilibrium in the body. Keeping correct postures also help avoiding problems like back or other sorts of muscle pain and keeps the body healthy and physically active thus avoiding any sort of body fat accumulation.
8. Regular Health Check Up
Though obesity might be a cause of many diseases, it may also be a symptom of some. Gaining unnatural belly fat might as well be an indication of some disease or deficiency in the body. Regular health check-ups, especially after a particular age, are an efficient way to ensure that a pot belly is not an indication of an ailing body. This is even more important after an age at which human body becomes vulnerable to catching serious ailments like cardiovascular diseases. Regular health check-ups ensure that the body is suffering from no hidden problems.
7. Reduce Alcohol Consumption
Facts suggest that pure alcohol is only next to fat in the calories it contains. A study in US concluded that two glasses of wine contains as much calories as three chocolate biscuits and would require 52 minutes of walking to burn it down.
Alcohol consumption is one of the major sources of weight gain which is neglected in diet plans thus proving them ineffective. It is proved that avoiding alcohol when focusing to lose weight will prove to be as much effective as avoiding chocolates. So if your bulging stomach is denying to go in, cutting down on your booze may help a little.
6. Control Stress
Stress is a common cause for most imbalances in the body including obesity. There are several ways in which stress can contribute to gaining excessive belly fat. Stress disturbs our hunger thus hampering proper meal consumption and not taking healthy meals at proper intervals contributes to obesity. It also is responsible for hormonal disturbances in our body and makes the mind and body too lethargic to act thus devoiding it of proper meals and exercise. Stress also requires taking various kinds of medicines and most stress medicines cause hormonal imbalances as well. Taking stress is the most common cause of pot belly in adults and avoiding stress is a very healthy move for both mind and body.
5. Increase Water Consumption
Sufficient amount of water intake is one of the basic requirements for a healthy body. An average person should intake approximately 3.5-4 liters of water every day for healthy functioning throughout the day. Sufficient water intake keeps the body properly hydrated and make the stomach feel filled thus helping in reducing diet. One insane replacement made by people is consuming soft drinks when thirsty instead of distilled water. Where on one hand water consumption performs cleansing activities and helps in proper digestion of food thus avoiding obesity, on the other hand soft drinks and sodas contain sugar which in turn has calories resulting in body fat. Consuming the recommended amount of water in itself will prove to be a vital step for those targeting a flat belly.
4. Take High Amount of Fiber
Fiber is a plant based food which our body can’t digest. This is one of the properties which help a great deal with weight loss. Since fiber cannot be digested it stays in our stomach longer than other substances and makes us feel full sooner. Though it contains no essential nutrients, fiber helps in reducing the chances of many diseases and is highly effective for weight loss. As per studies most people’s fiber intake is far less than required. Whole grain products are rich in fiber and are strongly recommended in our diet plans.
3. Try Walking or Cycling to Work
Since our present day routines do not provide us with much flexibility for many kinds of physical activities. Blaming it on technology and the desk jobs people are required to do these days, activities like walking and cycling are almost missing from the daily activities. Thus it will be a smart choice to avoid cars and other motor transports and rather walking or cycling to school, colleges or work place to maximize physical exercise in our daily routines.
2. Healthy Eating Habits
Unhealthy eating habits are one of the causes of pot belly which affect kids and adults alike. The most important reason for obesity in school going kids is the meal regime they follow and the kind of food they intake. Present day eating habits are devoid of some most essential minerals and are high on cholesterol and fat. A famous saying goes as, “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper”. What is important is to understand the necessity of taking hearty breakfast and light dinner. Apart from healthy breakfast providing the body with sufficient energy to start the day actively, it is also acknowledged that calories consumed in the morning is more efficiently processed by the day than the calories consumed at dinner. Taking hearty breakfast and light dinner is recommended for everyone from school going kids to office going adults.
1. Exercise Regularly
There is no substitution to work out. No matter what diet plans we adopt or other measures we take, we would still need to regular exercise to ensure good shaped healthy body. Physical exercise helps keep body active, flexible and energetic and is an easy remedy for fat and most fat related diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Physical exercise might include anything from jogging, running, yoga, gym, dancing and other activities requiring physical energy. There are many recommended exercises and yoga postures for obtaining flat stomach. It is even more important now since lesser and lesser physical activities are now part of our daily routine and thus all it requires is a little lifestyle change to get the figure you desire.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Ladies beware...

You sleep seven hours a night, watch your caloric
intake and break a sweat several times a week,
but before you proclaim yourself a vision of good
heath, take a look at your daily habits.
Surprisingly, some common practices can be
harmful to your health.

1. Wearing tight fitting jeans, or trousers

Skinny, tight pants can spell trouble for your
womanliness. “It’s really common for some women to
get recurring yeast infections [with tight pants],”
says Dr. Unjali Malhotra, a women’s health
specialist from Vancouver. The restricted quality
of the trousers along with the heat and moisture
that they create can leave you feeling itchy and
sore. To steer clear, Malhotra recommends
wearing looser fitting clothing or sleeping without
underwear to give the area a chance to breathe.

2. Wearing high heels

Sexy, fashionable footwear can lead to an ugly
assortment of health ailments. According to Peter
Guy, a professor at Toronto’s Michener Institute,
and a chiropodist in Whitby, Ont., habitually
wearing sky high heels can change the way you
walk, create pain in your back and knees, shorten
your calf muscles, and stiffen and thicken the
Achilles tendon that runs down the back of your
heel. “High heels will make bunions – a
protrusion of bone and soft tissue on the side of
your foot – appear faster, and because your toes
are squeezed in the shoe’s front, you can get
hammertoes, ingrown toenails and corns,” he
says. If these painful, unattractive conditions
weren’t enough to make you kick off your heels,
these problems could also make you an early
candidate for arthritis in your feet. To lower your
risk, Guy suggests alternating your footwear.
Wear one heel height one day, don a lower heel
the next, and try flats after that, but don’t jump
straight from a three-inch heel to flats. “If you
quit heels cold turkey, you’ll have heel pain,” he

3. Using old prescriptions, or sharing meds with

Have you ever popped a pill from an old
prescription, or downed a tablet given to you by a
girlfriend? Taking medications that are old, or not
yours can raise your risk for a surprise allergic
reaction, or an unhealthy interaction with other
medications that you may be taking. Instead of
alleviating symptoms, a visit to the ER could be in
“People should be assessed by a doctor for a
correct diagnosis before they start a medication
so they know that they’re taking the right one,
and that it’s safe to use,” says Malhotra. And if
you decide to re-start an old prescription such as
one for birth control pills, book a consultation with
your doctor to make sure that your medical
situation hasn’t changed, and that it’s still the
best option for you.

4. Taking the Pill, but skipping condoms

“The only contraceptive method that offers
protection against pregnancy and sexually
transmitted infections (STIs) is the male, or
female condom,” says Malhotra. By forgoing
condom use, women are leaving themselves
exposed to STIs such as gonorrhea and
Chlamydia that if left untreated can cause pelvic
inflammatory disease, a higher risk of ectopic
pregnancy and fertility issues. Add a condom to
your intimate repertoire and lose the STI fear

5. Wearing coloured contact lenses

Want to make your brown eyes blue? Think twice
before donning cosmetic, non-corrective contact
lenses. These accessories – typically sold without
a prescription or a proper fitting by an eye health
specialist at costume shops or online – can lead
to blindness. “These lenses can produce corneal
ulcers than can quickly lead to internal ocular
infection and permanent loss of vision if left
untreated,” says Dr. Paul Rafuse, president of the
Canadian Ophthalmological Society’s Board of
Directors. “These conditions can lead to
blindness. No one should wear cosmetic lenses
from a retail outlet without a prescription and
professional oversight.”
In December 2012, Bill C-313 was passed into
legislation classifying cosmetic lenses as medical
devices. This law means that coloured lenses
must be approved and licensed by Health
Canada , and distributors will require a special
licence to sell them.

6. Being careless with tampons

It may sound surprising, but some women forget
to remove their tampons at the end of their
period. “We often have women come in with an
abnormal odour or bleeding, and find a tampon
has been left inside,” says Malhotra. “It can cause
serious infections, or toxic shock syndrome.” To
save yourself the embarrassment, and the health
risks that a forgotten tampon can create,
Malhotra recommends inserting a finger into your
womanliness after your period has finished to guarantee
that it’s a hygiene product-free zone. A little
extra care is worth it especially when it comes to
avoiding toxic shock syndrome, a life-threatening
bacterial infection characterized by high fever,
vomiting, low blood pressure, headaches and

Life expectancies rise significantly worldwide

  • People gather at a neonatal center in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, which increased life expectancy 19 years compared with 1990. Photo: Saul Loeb, AFP/Getty Images
    People gather at a neonatal center in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, which increased life expectancy 19 years compared with 1990. Photo: Saul Loeb, AFP/Getty Images

People the world over can raise a toast to longer living.
That's the big takeaway from the World Health Organization's annual World Health Statistics report that says globally, on average, a child born in 2012 can expect to live six years longer than a child born in 1990.
Researchers, who released the report this month, say both high- and low-income countries have made strides that contribute to the global jump in longevity. In high-income countries, fewer people are dying of heart disease or stroke before age 60. In low-income countries, more children are living past their fifth birthdays.
Life expectancy in the United States is well above the global average, but we're far from the top of the list. As The Chronicle has previously reported, there's great disparity in Americans' health, depending on income, education, ethnicity and geography. See
Some of the world's poorest nations have made the greatest gains. Liberia's life expectancy increased by 20 years, from 42 in 1990 to 62 in 2012. Ethiopia and Maldives increased their life expectancies by 19 years compared with 1990. But there is a big gap in life expectancies between high- and low-income countries.
A boy born in a high-income country in 2012 can expect to live 16 years longer than one born in a low-income country, and for girls, the difference is 19 years.
Here's a closer look at the numbers:


The average age a boy born in 2012 can expect to live, based on global averages from the World Health Organization.


The average age a girl born in 2012 can expect to live, according to WHO's global averages.


The United States' ranking on the list of countries with the highest life expectancies, although the U.S. spends more money on health care than any other nation. The average American boy born in 2012 will live to age 76, and the average girl will live to age 81.


The average life expectancy of a Japanese woman born in 2012, earning Japan the No. 1 spot on the women's life expectancy list. Iceland took the top spot for men, with an average life expectancy of 81.2 years.


The average life expectancy for both men and women is less than 55 years in nine sub-Saharan African countries, putting them at the bottom of the world's life expectancy list.
For the full WHO report on life expectancy:

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Understanding key to saving more money

  Filed under: Personal Finance |
Saving more money, is a goal we should all have. Sometimes, it is quite difficult to ignore our desire to want that new thing. We can all relate. Whether it is that golf club, new pair of shoes, or the TV, they all seem to reach out to us and say “You know you cannot live without me… Bring me home today.”
 Once in a while, we can temporary talk us out of the wish but let’s just say that we just cannot do it this time. We have decided that the new product is exactly what we need and we won’t be denied until we get one. Then what?
 At this point, all is not lost. We just have to understand and appreciate our impulses and desires and still try to maximise our savings.
Take my desire to always want that cup of Starbucks coffee. There are many times this comes up and I would feel the burning desire to drive to the nearest coffee shop.
In the old days, I would get a grande (medium) sized coffee, but I have come to realise that all I really need is a tall (small) cup because all it takes is the first 25 ml of liquid to calm my nerves.
I learned to stop thinking about whether a medium or small cup is a better value because what’s the most important is how much I end up saving and ultimately keep in my pocket. I understand my desire (to want coffee), the product (Starbucks coffee size differences), and the solution just followed.
The key to saving more money
 Here’s another example, my future purchase of a flat screen TV. I don’t own one right now, but I want one every time I go to Costco. I did some research over the past few months, and I know that the ones with 1080p are more expensive because it’s provides the best picture quality in the market today.
For many of us, we want a flat screen TV because it is cool, not because it’s got 1080p. If we understand what it is that makes us happy and calm our impulses, then we won’t waste our money on the high end model that may cost $2,199 but instead get the lower end model that might be $1,399. Most people will be just as happy with purchasing either, but the ones that take the time to understand their desire would have saved an extra $800.
These are just two examples, but this actually applies to almost everything we purchase because there are always comparable products at different price ranges. The key is to understand our need and want, understand the product so we can make informed decisions, and the solution will soon follow

Managing your finances electronically…

Filed under: Personal Finance |
One of the biggest pitfalls in personal finances is being disorganized. Have you ever thought of organizing your finances electronically? If you are comfortable with technology, and are fortunate enough to have access to it, one of the easiest ways to maintain your records, is to use technology and personal finance software.
 Advances is personal finance software have made it possible for anyone with a computer and regular internet access to create budgets, pay routine bills, manage bank accounts, track every day finances, and monitor their investments. Assuming you have already registered with your bank’s electronic banking facility and most of your regular transactions are handled electronically, you can take things even further. Microsoft’s Money and Quicken are just two of the more popular solutions.
 Perhaps the hardest part of organizing anything, including your finances, is getting started. Take the trouble to learn the basics of your software by completing any on line tutorials. If you do not make an effort at the onset, the experience will be tedious, which defeats the whole purpose of the exercise. It can be a daunting task to set up all the relevant accounts, extract information and then input it on your personal finance software. We often have far too many accounts that we don’t need so this might be a good time to streamline your accounts. Start with your current account, and then set up accounts for your loans and investment accounts.
 Most personal finance programs can be downloaded from the company’s website and are relatively easy to use, even for those who are not technology savvy. As the leading software is usually compatible with the more common banking platforms, with the click of a mouse, you should be able to download your bank account and investment information directly which makes it much easier for you to reconcile your accounts. No matter how companies try to simplify the process, however, you cannot avoid having to input some account information manually.
 Personal finance software can be a great tool for financial planning. You can print out reports that will help you analyze your income and expenses, and spending categories are often in place so that you can at a glance determine where your money is going. Most programs include a budgeting tool, which even helps you track how well you are sticking to your budget. 
Scan your documents. Are you swamped by paper? Paperwork consumes our offices and homes and our lives. All those paper bills and statements tend to pile up, and they need to be stored somewhere. One of the best ways to store and backup your data is to scan your critical personal and financial documents. Invest in a document scanner. By scanning many of your sensitive documents and storing them on line or at least on a hard drive you can reclaim some of your space. Many smart phones have applications that you can use to “scan” documents using the integrated camera; some of these produce very good digital mages. An electronic version will protect from fire, theft or other loss, is easily accessible and will also be legible long after ink has faded. It doesn’t take up any space, except on your computer hard drive or your flash drive.
 Once you have made an electronic copy of the documents you wish to store, you will be more confident shredding the documents that you don’t need to keep to reduce the clutter. There are always critical financial documents that must be retained all your life in their original form for verification purposes; these include birth certificates, passports, insurance policies, title documents; these should be kept securely in a secure fire proof cabinet or safe but it is useful to retain scanned copies of these documents as well. 
Don’t forget to back up regularly. It is not advisable to maintain your most sensitive financial documents on your personal computer or laptop, as saving all your data locally leaves you vulnerable to corrupt files and data loss, which can be very difficult or often impossible to retrieve. Even worse, as if you lose the device or it is stolen, hackers may gain access to your sensitive information and use it fraudulently. Store your documents on a removable USB storage device or on a CD as additional back up. It is a good idea to back up your hard drive and keep a copy of your data off site in a different location from your computer as an additional precaution.
 Avoid a backlog. Once you are organized, try to take some time if possible, weekly, or at least monthly or at least quarterly in order to scan, file and shred documents. If you allow the documents to accumulate beyond this, it can become overwhelming. When you manage the process in smaller chunks you are less likely to become discouraged and leave things to pile up.
 Most people have challenges making the transition from paper to technology. Over time, paper accumulates and can become a major organizational problem. By migrating from paper to electronic document storage you can save both time and space. Once you start organizing your finances electronically, you will wonder how you ever coped without technology, and an added bonus is that it is good for the environment.

Dangers that men should be aware of


An illustration
When we talk about sexual health, the focus is usually on women because of many peculiarities. However, sexual health goes beyond gender, as it affects men and women alike. Indeed, experts aver that reproductive health is an important component of men’s overall health and well-being.
One of the things that make men who they are is the male sex organ; its overall wellbeing cannot be overemphasised if men must function optimally biologically, mentally, physically and physiologically.
Physicians advise that routine visits with a health care provider can help prevent serious illness, as they can readily diagnose and treat the common conditions that affect men before they spiral out of control.
The Guttmacher Report on Public Policy laments that for much of their lives, men need a range of medical and, in particular, educational and counseling services to protect their own health and well-being, as well as to equip themselves to be good partners and fathers.
It notes that though policymakers are beginning to focus on men’s roles as fathers and husbands, little attention is being paid to their sexual and reproductive health needs. “Available data illustrate that those needs are substantial and long-term,” the report further says.
What are these health peculiarities that men should be aware of and guard against for overall wellbeing? Read on.
Peyronie’s disease
Also known as induratio penis plastica or chronic inflammation of the tunica albuginea (the fibrous covering of the testis), physicians say this disease is caused by scar tissue along the length of the male sex organ, causing it to bend. The condition can make sexual intercourse painful or difficult outright, they submit.
A General Practitioner, Dr. Grace Asiodu, says while the cause of this disease is basically unknown, researchers believe that it can develop after a trauma to the male sex organ — such as if something hits it hard, which may lead to internal bleeding inside the penis.
Again, she says — and this is instructive — certain medicines can have side effects that include Peyronie’s disease. “That is why we say it’s dangerous to indulge in self-medication or abuse of drugs that the doctor may have prescribed for you at one point or the other,” Asiodu warns.
She also discloses that the disease sometimes runs in families, but that if sexual intercourse is not affected, it may not elicit much anxiety.
She says the problem is mostly visible when the penis is erect, as it can cause the organ to bend into an arc shape, a situation that sometimes results in sharp pain.
In terms of overall healing of this disease, opinion differs. While some doctors say the situation can resolve itself in about five to 19 per cent of the cases, some patient’s case may require surgical correction.
However, according to Dr. Culley C. Carson III of the University of North Carolina, “a full recovery isn’t guaranteed.”
Beware of fish
Do you love to swim? Actually, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with swimming, except that you should know ahead of it the types of fish that can be your unwanted companion while the exercise lasts!
One fish to beware of as you swim is the candiru — also known as the vampire fish or toothpick fish. Experts describe it “as a species of parasitic freshwater catfish that is peculiar to Latin America.
The horror surrounding this small fish is that, unlike other fish that we know, it is parasitic and feed on blood!
How this affects you as a man? Here: the fish is so tiny that it can literally swim into your penis opening as you swim. Once inside of your manhood, it sees your urethra as a fish’s gill and then spreads a network of umbrella-like spines, which allow it to feed on your blood.
Experts say it could be removed through surgical intervention; but they also warn that the process could be terribly painful.
So, before you jump into that water, you may want to wear a cap on your manhood!
Too many women can kill
Many men count it a symbol of virility by getting around with many sexual partners. Physicians are saying it’s one sure way to a diseased life.
Asiodu says Chlamydial urethritis is caused by the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis, and it can cause the inflammation or blockage of the urethra. When you consider the fact that the urethra serves as the passage for urine and semen during sexual intercourse, you’d work hard to protect your own!
The physician adds, “Chlamydia and gonorrhea often occur together, and it affects people who are sexually active and those with multiple sexual partners.”
The symptoms include difficulty in urinating, painful urination, burning sensation during urination, discharge from the penis, redness, swelling, itching of the opening of the urethra at tip of the penis, swelling and tenderness of the testicles
“The symptoms can appear similar to those of infection with gonorrhea, but continue even after treatment for gonorrhea,” experts at medlineplus, an online community, say.
In fact, as bad as this infection is, a case study from India reports that the infection can leave the penis twisted and swollen, making sexual intercourse absolutely impossible!
So, men who think that conquering the world amounts to fooling around sexually should reconsider.
Vigorous sex can break you
In these days of unguarded drug use, it’s not uncommon to see men who take aphrodisiacs at will, all in a bid to give their partners unpleasant surprises on the bed. However, researchers at Ohio State University warn that vigorous sex can break the cylindrical tubes that fill with blood when you have an erection (the corpus cavernosa)!
The scientists warn, “These tubes can rupture and cause blood to fill your penis, leading to swelling and permanent deformity or loss of sexual function if not surgically treated immediately.”

99-Year-Old Woman Gets Degree 75 Years Late After $5 Fee Finally Paid

99-year-old Maine woman has graduated from college 75 years after a $5 fee kept her from getting her diploma on time.
Beal College in Bangor awarded Jessie White her degree during a special ceremony on Friday hosted by Alan Stehle, the college’s president.
White told ABC News the special ceremony was wonderful and a lot of fun.
White was supposed to graduate in 1939, but couldn’t afford the $5 transcript fee.
A friend who recently learned of her decades-old predicament called Stehle, who paid her balance and set up the ceremony.
White, a Maine native, received her degree in stenography and bookkeeping.
White suffered a disability from a polio infection, but she persisted until she landed a job and worked for years as a bookkeeper.
White said finally getting her degree made her feel “great.”
“Never give up learning. They say when you give up learning you grow old,” she said, according to ABC News. “So I don’t intend to give up learning.”

Samsung's Galaxy S5 S Health Update Let's You Know How Stressed You Are

Are you stressed? Most folks probably know the answer to that question without needing to take specific measurements but now, a recent update to the S Health app for the Galaxy S5 will tell you exactly what your stress levels are.  The GS5 does this by measuring the variability of the user’s heart rate with the phone’s built-in heart rate sensor.  Believe it or not, the technology employed here is reasonably reliable and accurate too.  Although, I will be quick to caution you not to rely on its measurement for anything life-threatening, but you knew that. The basic premise, however, is used to measure a wide variety of medical conditions related to anxiety and physical or emotional stress.
Galaxy S5 Heart Rate Sensor In Action
Galaxy S5 Heart Rate Sensor In Action
Heart Rate Variability or (HRV as its medically known) can be used to measure levels of stress on the body, though it obviously can’t tell you specifically what that stress is caused by.  It has multiple applications from cardiac health, to mental health and stress management as well as athletic training.  Regardless, if you’re not physically exerting yourself but your heart rate varies wildly throughout a specific period, you can begin to correlate whether or you’re managing your personal stress levels well or if you should try to take it down a notch.
What’s notable about this new app update for the Galaxy S5 is that it actually offers a bit more legitimate utility for the phone’s heart rate monitor, which has been occasionally scoffed at by critics as gimmick and novelty, rather than anything innovative and worth adding cost to the device.  The app will also graph your measured stress levels over certain periods of time: hourly, daily or monthly even.
There’s little question, however, in the forthcoming age of wearable computing, that biometric sensors will continue to evolve and become more integral to products for key functionality.  Samsung was leading the curve a bit perhaps with S Health but I can almost hear a, dare I say, “Siri-like” voice calling my name now… “Dave, you seem stressed.  Might I suggest some easy-listening music to relax by?”

Monday, 26 May 2014

AMAA 2014: Clarion Chukwurah, Patience Ozokwor win big – See full list of winners

The 2014 edition of the Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA), which held in Yenagoa, Bayelsa Saturday on 24th May 2014 would linger in the memories of those who attended the event.
The event will be most memorable to Actress Clarion Chukwurah who won the best Actress award for her role in “Apaye“. Patience Ozokwor was also rewarded for her role in “After the Proposal” as best supporting Actress.
While receiving her award, Clarion Chukwurah dedicated it to Nigeria saying, “I dedicate this award to my country Nigeria because the role I played in Apaye was the role of a woman who despite all odds, overcame and became triumphant. So I dedicate this award to Nigeria…”
Her victory and emergence was as a result of her role in Emem Isong’s Apaye.
During the event, the brain behind the prestigious award ceremony, Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, announced that she will be stepping down as the President of AMAA.
It was also a time to recognize the works of late filmmaker, Amaka Igwe, who according to Anyiam-Osigwe “died while doing something great for Nigeria.”
The best in the movie category were honoured with awards, while music stars and entertainers like Timi Dakolo, Bez, J Martins, Edge, Ketshe and comedians Buchi, Funny Bone performed at the event.
View the full list below:
AMAA 2014 Award for Best Film
Children of Troumaron – Mauritius
Potomanto – Ghana
The Forgotten Kingdom – South Africa
Of Good Report – South Africa – WINNER
Accident – Nigeria
AMAA 2014 Award for Best Director
Harrikrishna & Sharvan Anenden – Children of Troumaron (Mauritius)
Shirley Frimpong Manso – Potomanto (Ghana)
Andrew Mudge – The Forgotten Kingdom (South Africa)
Jamil X.T Quebeka – Of Good Report (South Africa) – WINNER
Teco Benson – Accident (Nigeria)
AMAA 2014 Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
Zengo Ngqobe – Forgotten Kingdom
Kanayo O. Kanayo – Apaye
Mothusi Magano – Of Good Report – WINNER
Joseph Benjamin – Murder At Prime Suites
Adjatey Annan – Potomanto
Majid Michel – Brothers Keeper
AMAA 2014 Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
Uche Nnadili – B for Boy
Linda Sokhulu – Felix
Chioma Chukwuka Akpotha – Accident
Clarion Chukwurah – Apaye – WINNER
Uche Jombo, Rodriquez, Monalisa Chinda and Daniella Okeke – Lagos Cougar
Joselyn Dumas – Northern Affair
AMAA 2014 Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Desmond Elliot – Finding Mercy
Thapelo Mofekeng – Felix – WINNER
Yomi Fash-Lanso – Omo Elemosho
Aniekan Iyoho – Potomanto
Tshamano Sebe – Of Good Report
AMAA 2014 Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Vinaya Sungkur – The Children of Troumaron
Patience Ozokwor – After the Proposal – WINNER
Marie Humbert – Potomanto
Barbara Soky – Brothers Keeper
Lee-Ann van Rooi – Of Good Report
AMAA 2014 Award for Best Young/Promising Actor
Evelyn Galle Ansah – Good Old Days: For the Love of AA
Petronella Tshuma – Of Good Report – WINNER
Tope Tedela – A Mile From Home
Kitty Phillips – The Children of Troumatron
Shawn Faqua – Lagos Cougar
AMAA 2014 Award for Best Child Actor
Tobe Oboli – Brothers Keeper
Lebohang Ntsane – Forgotten Kingdom – WINNER
Hlayani Junior Mabasa – Felix
AMAA 2014 Award for Best First Feature Film by a Director
Roberta Durrant – Felix
Chika Anadu – B for Boy
Andrew Mudge – Forgotten Kingdom
Harrikrishna & Sharvan Anenden – The Children of Troumaron – WINNER
Dilman Dila – Felista’s Fable
Joyce Mhango Chavula – No More Tears
AMAA 2014 Winners
Efere Ozako AMAA 2014 Award for Best Short Film
Dialemi – Gabon
AMAA 2014 Award for Best Animation
Khumba – South Africa
AMAA 2014 Award for Best Documentary
Hamu Beya – The Sand Fishers – Mali and Potraits of a Lone Farmer – Nigeria/Denmark
Ousmane Sembene AMAA 2014 Award For Best Film in an African Language
B for Boy – Nigeria
AMAA 2014 Award for Best Diaspora Short
Passage – Bahamas
AMAA 2014 Award for Best Diaspora Documentary
Through the Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People – USA
AMAA 2014 Award for Best Diaspora Feature
Kingston Paradise – Jamaica
AMAA 2014 Award for Achievement in Production Design
A Northern Affair – Ghana
AMAA 2014 Achievement in Costume Design
Ni Sisi – Kenya
AMAA 2014 Award for Achievement in Make-up
Once Upon A Road Trip – South Africa
AMAA 2014 Award for Achievement in Soundtrack
Onye Ozi
AMAA 2014 Award for Achievement in Visual Effect
A Mile From Home
AMAA 2014 Award for Achievement in Sound
The Forgotten Kingdom
AMAA 2014 Award for Achievement in Cinematography
The Forgotten Kingdom
AMAA 2014 Award for Achievement in Editing
AMAA 2014 Award for Achievement in Screenplay
Of Good Report
AMAA 2014 – Bayelsa State Government Endowed Award for Best Nigerian Film
Ni Sisi – Kenya
Best Film for Women Empowerment
B For Boy – Nigeria
Special Jury Award
New Horizon – Nigeria
Lifetime Achievement
Bob Manuel-Udokwu

I never said I didn’t need a husband – Bimbo Akintola

Bimbo Akintola
While being hosted on Sunday’s Rubbing Minds show by Ebuka Uchendu on Channels TV, star Actress Bimbo Akintola talked about the missing Chibok girls, her long break from the movie industry, relationship and much more.
When asked if she truly said she doesn’t need a husband as reported in the social media months ago, Bimbo said
“People like to misquote someone. I will repeat it; marriage is important. It is a very serious institution. We go to church, you call your parents, those that watched you grow and you say this is a man you want to be with for the rest of your life. Now, if I can’t find that man that I want to be with for the rest of my life, I will rather stay single. Nothing is wrong with that.
She also denied rumour that her disappearance from the movie scene was due to her relationship with afro-beat musician, Dede Mabiaku. “That is a horrible thing to say…to even think. Dede is like my best friend forever. We will remain friends till I die. He’s like my brother. Dede has nothing to do with my career. My career is about me. I told you; what I want to show the world.

Nigeria to build Africa's largest gas industrial park in Delta state

By Adesanya Alao
May 26, 2014 21:00:36pm GMT
Nigeria oil and gas facility

WorldStage Newsonline-- The Federal Government of Nigeria has revealed plans to construct Africa's first multi-billion dollar gas industrial park in Delta State, it was learnt yesterday.
Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, who spoke at the opening session of a three-day National Conference/Exhibition on Gas Resources in Abuja, said that the dedicated gas industrial park is part of a comprehensive strategy for gas processing in the country.
The conference with the theme: "Deepening domestic utilization of natural gas and routine flare elimination" was organized by the Senate Committee on Gas in collaboration with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and its agencies in Abuja.
The Minister whose speech at the occasion was presented by the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Andrew Yakubu, stated that the proposed park would consist of industries that would produce fertilizers, petrochemicals, methanol, and other related products.
Alison-Madueke said: "As part of our infrastructure blueprint,  we have entrenched the concept of gas processing facilities,  with a view to extracting the various constituents of natural gas such as the Liquified Petroleum Gas and ethanol among others.
"These will help grow  LPG availability for domestic use, whilst the ethane will help fuel the growth of petrochemical industries and the residue gas will then be used as feedstock fors fertilizer, methanol and so on."
She bemoaned a situation where past administrations reduced gas to second fiddle role in favour of crude oil in Nigeria.
According to her, the mindset governed how the gas sector was handled initially,  hence, pricing of gas was deliberately low because it was aimed at disposing an unwanted product.
Alison-Madueke, also explained that the perceived low value of gas did not encourage the development of infrastructure around it while the dominant legislative framework for the industry was essentially based on crude oil production and not gas.
She however said that in conformity with global best practices,  the Federal Government had ensured that gas, like other advanced countries,  would henceforth take the centre stage in the country's economic activities.
She added: "Gas is fast evolving as the preferred fuel in view of its relatively more impressive environmental credential and lower cost of supply than alternative liquid fuel.
"Natural Gas has the capacity to transform an economy. We have seen successful examples all over the World. Qatar, which has the highest Gross Domestic Product in the World,  has its growth anchored on natural gas.
"Also, Trinidad and Tobago saw transformational changes in its GDP and employment rate as it exploited its modest natural gas resources"
She insisted that Saudi Arabia, apart from being the world's largest oil producer, had positioned itself as the world's hub for petrochemical while Russia had also leveraged its enormous gas resources to transform its economy.
She said that the Federal Government in the last three years, begun "the most aggressive implementation of a nationwide gas infrastructure blueprint to connect the product with all key  supply sources and markets across the country.
"Today, we have completed and inaugurated almost 500km of new gas pipelines and equally developed a network code which governs the flow of gas across the nation's pipeline network and provide rules for open access among others.
"I believe these interventions have  combined to begin to boost investors confidence in Natural Gas,  in Nigeria."
The Senate President, David Mark, who was represented on the occasion by the minority whip, Senator Abu Ibrahim, stressed the need to evolve fresh strategies to generate wealth and employment through the development of the gas sector.
He assured stakeholders in the sector that the National Assembly would hasten the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) to bring about a gas revolution that would make life more meaningful to all Nigerians.
He urged policy makers to consider the health and well-being of the host communities in designing framework for the exploration and processing of oil and gas.
Mark said: "Indeed the gas revolution has come upon us. However, I need to stress that the gas revolution is not just about hydrocarbons and wealth.
"It is about human beings and the betterment of the lives of people, their communities and the entire society. We have to explore the varying opportunities of this revolution and chart a sustainable way forward for the development of our people.
"The revolution does not only engender the creation of a plethora of new jobs but also serves as a springboard for the rebirth of the non-oil sector in our country, such as manufacturing, solid minerals, and so on."
He further noted that in the wake of the green revolution and the adverse effects of climate change on the people, there is urgent need for policy makers to ensure that exploration activities are not detrimental to the social and environmental conditions of the immediate communities.
He added: "Hence, we also have to consider alternative and cleaner sources of energy such as wind, solar, bio-fuel, among others.
"Therefore, in evolving a strategic framework for the gas sector, delegates to this sector must take into account, the need to properly utilize our abundant gas reserves for sustainable development, and in the same vein address the environmental challenges of gas flaring.
"Our gas must ab initio be relevant to our domestic needs especially cooking gas and gas-fired electricity generation.
"To this end, it should ensure that the citizenry have access to affordable and constant supply of energy and power."
Chairman Senator Committee on Gas, Senator Nkechi Nwaogu (Abia Central)  lamented that Nigeria ranks lowest in gas utilization despite abundant gas reserves.
Nwaogu said: "But ours is a paradoxical situation. While we occupy the top position in gas reserve and production, we equally occupy the last position in gas utilization.
"With the current per capital consumption of natural gas in Nigeria at about 1.06kg, Nigeria ranks lowest in Africa with only 5 per cent of her citizens having access to domestic gas.
"The low utilization of natural gas in the country is greatly hinged on the inadequacy of gas transmission and distribution infrastructure which results to Nigeria flaring about 1.4billion cubic feet of gas per day and this makes her rank second to Russia in the world in gas flaring."
She said the conference was organized to find ways of bridging the "huge gap" between gas production and utilization in the country.
"The high dependence of Nigerians on other forms of cooking other than gas, leads to indoor pollution which kills up to 100,000 people globally every year," she said.